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Microsoft’s Purchase of Wunderlist Widens Its Mobile Presence

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:58 p.m. ET

Wunderlist acquisition boosts Microsoft’s mobile strategy

As we saw in Part 1 of this series, Microsoft (MSFT) announced its acquisition of 6Wunderkinder GmbH on June 1, 2015. This acquisition is another step in Microsoft’s strategy to expand its presence in the rapidly growing mobile space. It also enhances its line of cross-platform mobile apps that began with the launch of Office apps on iOS.

As of December 2014, Wunderlist claims 10 million users for its apps, which are compatible with Apple (AAPL) iOS, Google’s (GOOG) (GOOGL) Android, Windows Phone, and the web.

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Advanced functions

Apart from its basic to-do list functions, Wunderlist also supports cross-device syncing, list sharing, photos, and PDF attachments. Google Play rated Wunderlist with 4.4 stars, and the App Store gave Wunderlist a rating of 4.5 stars, both on a scale of five stars. So far, Wunderlist has achieved positive reviews across all platforms, which may have played a strong role in garnering Microsoft’s attention.

As the above chart shows, Google Play, the Amazon (AMZN) Appstore, and Apple’s App Store for iOS saw tremendous growth in 2014. With the recent acquisitions of Wunderlist, Sunrise, and Acompli, it seems clear that Microsoft is keen on producing apps for outside platforms and to expand its user base.

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Microsoft’s acquisition strategy enhances its smartphone user base

In December 2014, Microsoft acquired Acompli, which gave the software giant access to a mobile email app. In February 2015, Microsoft completed its acquisition of calendar management app Sunrise. The addition of Wunderlist enhances Microsoft’s productivity app repertoire.

Since December 2014, Microsoft has been aggressive with its acquisition strategy, acquiring Acompli, HockeyApp, Aorato, Equivio, and Sunrise. Sunrise is a startup that produces cloud-based calendar apps for iOS and Android.

It remains to be seen whether Wunderlist will be incorporated into Microsoft’s Outlook and Office 365, like Acompli, or whether it would be left to function independently like Sunrise. Acompli has been rebranded as Outlook, a step that received positive feedback from the market, while Sunrise retains its original brand.

Investors can gain access to Microsoft stock by investing in the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK). QQQ holds 8% of Microsoft stock in its portfolio, and XLK’s portfolio includes 9.61% of its holdings in Microsoft.

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